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What Is Bank of America Charging Customers for This Time? – Dollars and Sense

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Bank of America, seemingly undaunted by last year’s consumer backlash after instituting debit card fees, is now trying out new charges on checking accounts.

The nation’s second-largest bank is currently running test programs with customers in Arizona, Georgia and Massachusetts, dinging them between $6 and $10 per month to keep their money with BofA. Other account options carry monthly charges of up to $25, but customers can sidestep the fees by maintaining minimum balances, banking online or buying more BofA products (like credit cards or mortgages).

More big retail banks, including J.P. Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo, are following suit with similar plans to raise their fee revenue.

Bart Naylor, an expert in financial regulation at the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen, said, “Bank of America and other banks are probing to see what the market will bear, and we think it’s good for consumers to respond to that the way they know best — either by changing to another bank, or by considering a credit union, which tends to be more genial.”

In response to the media reports of the new fees, Bank of America issued a statement Thursday that said in part, “We have made no decisions on the construct of new product offerings as the tests are still ongoing. When we do finalize our plans, we will communicate with our customers. All our current and future offerings have ways to avoid fees.”

[Wall Street Journal]

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